How to make Mexican pulled pork
Mexican pulled pork is slow cooked in mouthwatering Mexican spices until it becomes shreddable, juicy and tender. It's the perfect filling for tacos, or you can use it in nachos, quesadillas, burritos and more. See the recipe and tips for making it below.
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1-1.3 kg boneless pork shoulder roast, halved and rind removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 400 g tomato passata
- 12 hard taco shells
- 1 large ripe avocado, chopped
- ½ punnet (100 g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1½ cups (150 g) Perfect Italiano™ Perfect Mexican Cheese
- 2 tbsp. coriander sprigs to serve
- Preheat oven to 160°C / 140°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook 3-4 minutes each side, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in spices and cook for a further minute. Pour in passata and stir to combine. Return pork to casserole dish, fat side down and spoon sauce over top. Cover with lid and transfer to the oven for 3-3 ½ hours or until meat is tender and shreds easily. Remove from oven and roughly shred pork using two forks.
- Increase oven temperature to 200°C / 180°C fan-forced. Arrange taco shells standing up in a rectangular baking dish. Bake 5 minutes or until golden. Fill each taco shell with pulled pork, avocado, tomatoes and top with Perfect Mexican Cheese.
- Bake for a further 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately, sprinkled with coriander.
Get the recipe to save to your myfoodbook cookbooks: Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
The shoulder. It’s possible to use a leaner cut of pork, but the fat from the shoulder will slowly render as you cook it, resulting in soft, sweet strands of pork. The shoulder is also referred to as the “butt” or “Boston butt” but it’s not to be confused with the rump of the animal, which is used for ham.
It is better to cook pulled pork in the oven or slow cooker?
Either technique will work well, just make sure that it is covered tightly with a lid to keep in the moisture. Generally, the meat is rubbed with a spice blend, the outside seared in a casserole dish over high heat to caramelise the outside and render the fatty skin. It's then mixed with liquid such as stock, apple cider vinegar or passata to help retain moisture and create a sauce.
How long do you need to cook pulled pork?
You need to take your time, low and slow is the way to go. If you rush it, the meat may be cooked but it won’t pull apart. Cook a smaller 1-1.3kg shoulder according to the instructions above, or make a big batch with a bigger piece of meat. For a 2.5kg shoulder, cook it in the oven at around 140°C for four-five hours. It’s a good idea to test it often. In a slow cooker, cook it on High for four-six hours or on Low for eight-12 hours or overnight.
What is in Mexican spice mix?
Mexican spice mix has a mix of different spices that add flavour to your meal. If you’re making Mexican-style meats, you can make your own spice mix using ground cumin, ground coriander and smoked paprika. But if you're looking for a shortcut, the easiest way is to use a packet of Mexican Taco Seasoning. Most include spices such as cumin, paprika and chilli and may also include other flavours and colours.
How long do leftovers last in the fridge?
When packed in an airtight container, they should last three-five days.
Can you freeze pulled pork?
Yes. Pop it into a refillable freezer bag, squeeze out the air to prevent freezer burn, and it will keep in the freezer for a few months.
How do you use leftover pulled pork?
If you made a big batch of pulled pork for tacos and need to mix it up, never fear. There are loads of options for leftovers:
- Nachos, simply top corn chips with pulled pork, avocado, sour cream and cheese.
- Quesadillas, similar to a taco but has the added bonus of melted cheese.
- Cubano-style pulled pork sandwiches with cheese and pickles.
- Pizza with pulled pork, mozzarella and olives.
- Jaffles filled with pulled pork, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos.
- Pulled pork Shepherd’s pie topped with cheesy mashed potatoes.
More Mexican-inspired recipes
Get more Mexican recipes below.
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